Hannah-A Woman of Faith

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Hannah: A Woman of Faith. 1 Samuel 1:1-2:21

Everton Community Church. Mother’s Day. Sunday May 13, 2007. 10:30 am

Debbie Trickett from Atlanta, Georgia, knows the heart-wrenching challenge of infertility. But Debbie also knows the heart-changing power of savoring God’s presence and goodness. (Taken from True Women by Susan Hunt, (c)1997. Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois 60187.)

Children. I want children. Not just a baby. Not just a child. I want children. Three of them. If I were younger, I might want more, but at thirty-four three seems like a good number. Marrying a little late and moving across the country a couple of times as well as a long-running struggle to pay the rent delayed the real trying for a while. The trying has been going on for a long time now. Not as long a many of you, but much longer than most.

To no avail. No children. Not one pregnancy. I have never experienced that wonder of knowing that there is a life inside of me. Instead, there is a longing that will not be filled, that will not be diminished, that will not end this side of heaven without children to fill it.

Nothing else in my life has been as baffling to me as not being able to conceive a child. My emotions hide even from myself, spilling out in tears of sadness or anger at the most inopportune times. There have been no days of real clarity, no times when a light has come on to show the way—not even a little. But the mysterious and marvelous mercy of God has convinced me of one thing in all of this—it is dark because I am in that deep, hidden place under God’s wing.

Certainly, the inability to bear children to the glory of God is due to the sinfulness of sin and its effect on all of life. It is not that God punishes us by not allowing us to give birth to the offspring we most desperately desire. It is rather that we, along with all of creation, suffer the wretched consequences of the sin of our first mother and father, Adam and Eve, compounded by the sin of all the sinners who have come after them. And that, of course, is all of us.

Since this is so, I know that, as with all of life, I must not put my trust in anything other than God, even in the provision of a child. This does not necessarily mean that I may not use a medical intervention to try to conceive a child. It does not mean that adoption is not an option to pursue. Rather, I trust that God in His mercy has given us these means as part of His redemption from the effects of the Fall.

At times the knowledge that God has given His covenant of grace to believers and their children makes not being able to have a child even more difficult to understand and bear.

God has rescued me from such a desperate place and has given me such a glorious glimpse of Himself that I want, with all that is within me, to see this passed on to the next generation of my family, my children.

My heart cries out, “Why, O God, will You not answer this prayer? Why will You not do this simple thing for me and for Your own name’s sake? You do it for so many so easily. Your marvelous grace. Why not to me?” With thoughts like these, it is easy to fall into deep despair, and at times I certainly do. When this happens, God in His time and His various graceful ways, comes to me to remind me that I am not alone.

He does not, as so many do, tell me that “my time will come.” He does not say that if I will just relax and not try so hard, everything will be okay. He does not say, “If you adopt a baby, you’ll get pregnant.” He does say that He is with me. He weeps with me as Jesus wept for Lazarus. He reminds me that He is good and that He can be trusted with my heart. Any doubt of that was wiped away at the Cross.

He has given His best to me, His own beautiful, beloved Child. Will He withhold any good thing from me? No, never. Is Jesus enough to make up for this aching void in my soul? I do not always feel that it is so. But it is. Jesus loves me—this I know.

Unlike the testimony of this woman, in Israel the time was described:

Judges 21:25   [25]In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (ESV)

The commentator Gordon Keddie describes 1 Samuel as a span of about a hundred-year period, 1100 BC from the theocratic Hebrew republic to the establishment of the theocratic monarchy. I’ts theological because it concerns the rule of God among His people; it’s spiritual because it concerns the faith of those who love the lord and are committed to Him as His disciples; it’s eschatological because it points to the coming of God’s son: the messianic and mediatorial King (Dawn of a Kingdom: The Message of 1 Samuel. [Welwyn Commentary] p. 12.)

The struggle to be a mother has never been harder. There are more pressures and choices from conception to role than ever before. We too live in an age that as far as motherhood is concerned, everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes.

For some of you, Mother’s Day can be a bittersweet holiday. You delight in the opportunity that this occasion affords to honor your own mother and all your friends who are mothers, but you also can be saddened by the reality that you are not yet a mother, even though you long to be.

Perhaps you are single and there does not appear to be any prospect for marriage in the near future. You are keenly aware, however, that the body clock is ticking. You may fear that the childbearing years will pass you by.

Others of you may be married and have been trying to get pregnant for months now. Maybe even years. But still no baby.

How is a mother to respond? 1 Samuel gives us 5 Defining Traits of a Woman of Faith in the person of Hannah.  In her life we can see that women of faith 1) exhibit real problems 2) express vibrant prayers. 3) experience God’s provision and 4) excel at keeping their promises, and 5) explode with praise

1) Women of faith exhibit real problems (1:1-8). (Go over this section very quick)

In 1 Samuel 1, we’re introduced to a man named Elkanah.

1 Samuel 1:1-2   There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. [2]He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. (ESV)

Socially, in Israel, a barren womb was considered a curse and Hannah would have been looked down upon. She joins a long line of other women of faith who battled barrenness: Sarah (Abraham’s wife), Rebekah (Isaac’s wife), Rachel (Jacob’s wife), Ruth (Boaz’s wife), and Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother).

Women of faith exhibit real problems. It’s easy to think that the heroes in the Bible were somehow different than we are. We might think that it’s tough to relate to them because their lives were so perfect and their culture was so different than ours. Actually, the Bible is filled with real people with real problems, who face them with real faith.

At this point in her life, Hannah would have thought Mother’s Day was just a big rip-off. Some of you probably didn’t want to come to church on Mother’s Day because your mother is no longer alive and you really miss her. Others of you don’t care much for your mom and you’re a bit turned off by all the syrupy sentiments in Hallmark cards. Some of you may have a mother who is very sick right now and you wonder how much longer she’s going to be with you. I am going after the service to be with my Grandmother who will celebrate her last mother’s day on this earth.

For some who are single dad’s, they struggle to find out why their mother has hurt them so much. Some have experienced the devastating loss of a child’s death. There are probably some mothers here this morning that wish they didn’t have kids and I know there are women here who would give anything just to have a child.

Verse 3 tells us that:

1 Samuel 1:3   [3]Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD. (ESV)

Elkanah and his two wives made a yearly visit to Shiloh, about a twenty-mile journey, to worship the Lord. This shows us something about his devout spirituality. When the whole culture was headed south spiritually, Elkanah swam against the tide of apathy, and took his family to worship. The last part of verse 3 indicates that Hophni and Phineas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. These two boys were hypocrites at best and evil at worst. But nothing kept Elkanah from going to worship. He could have said, “No one else is going, it’s too far to travel, the service is too early, and I don’t like the ministers anyway.” Even if no one else did his duty, he would do his.

Verse 4-5 tell us something about his heart:

1 Samuel 1:4-5   [4]On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. [5]But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. (ESV)

This sacrifice was a thank offering, which allowed the worshipers to eat the part that was not offered to God. This “double” portion literally means, “to show the face.” He showed his face to her, indicating that she was worthy and that he cared deeply for her. In that culture, honored guests were given a “super-sized” meal. It had to be difficult for Hannah to eat the food that was associated with the “thank offering” when she probably wasn’t all that thankful. Having a husband who expressed his love probably helped a lot.

He was devout in his walk with God and devoted to Hannah, but he had a divided family. The original cause of this division was Elkanah’s decision to marry two wives, which was not God’s intent for marriage. It’s likely that Elkanah had married Hannah first and then, because she was not able to have children, he decided to marry Penninah. Though the Bible records the polygamous relationships of some of the patriarchs, it never endorses it. God’s Word teaches the “one wife for life” rule. Someone has said that the penalty of bigamy is two mothers-in-law!

Even though these two wives did not get along, the most difficult thing that Hannah faced is the phrase that is repeated twice, once at the end of verse 5 and again at the beginning of verse 6:

1 Samuel 1:6   [6]And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. (ESV)

-The problem that she was having came from the Lord. This is one of the hardest lessons we will ever learn. Our problems are given to us by the Lord Himself. It is God who is behind the circumstances of life. We don’t really want to believe this. We’d rather blame it all on Satan, bad luck, poor doctors, or on someone else. But it is God who allows good things and bad things from our perspective to come into our lives. God is in charge and as such we should echo

Job 2:10   [10]But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (ESV)

Ecclesiastes 7:14   [14]In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. (ESV)

-Hannah has no bitterness against God.

Verse 6 describes the character and personality of Penninah:

her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her

-She couldn’t just be thankful that she had children but felt the need to needle and harass Hannah. The word “provoke” literally means, “to cause her thunder”. She’s trying to get Hannah to blow her top! The word “irritate” refers to being stirred up inwardly.

Verse 7 reveals that Penninah did this every year when they went to Shiloh:

1 Samuel 1:7   [7]So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. (ESV)

It bothered Hannah so much that she would weep and not be able to eat. This word means that she mourned deeply with so much grief that she lost her appetite. Some of you are in the middle of this kind of anguish right now.

The quality of her character shows itself that although she was crushed by the unjust treatment she received, we see no vengeful response.

In verse 8, Elkanah tries his best to comfort his wife:

1 Samuel 1:8   [8]And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?" (ESV)

-It seems like Elkanah is doing what many of us husbands do when our wives are upset. Instead of listening to her pain, he seems to be rationalizing her problems and feelings. He’s trying to solve when he should be seeking to understand. He’s basically saying, “Baby, you’ve got me (or at least part of me), what more could you want?”

-I picture him holding up his fingers and saying, “Hannah honey, don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” I’m not sure he really understood how deeply she wanted to have a child. After all, it’s possible to love one’s husband and still want to have children. Some of you have been hit with some insensitive comments, either by your husband, or from others. God understands your pain.

Hannah had some problems but she didn’t shut down or lash out at those around her. She expressed her faith in prayer. God uses our problems to get our attention and to teach us according to Psalm 119:71:

Psalm 119:71  [71]It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

1)      Women of faith exhibit real problems (1 Samuel 1:1-8).

2)      Express vibrant prayers (1 Samuel 1:9-18)

Look at 1 Samuel 1:10-11

1 Samuel 1:10-11 [10]She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. [11]And she vowed a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head." (ESV)

Her weeping led to worship as her tears mingled with her prayers. The kind of prayer that arises from the bitterness of the soul is far different than the dry prayers that we sometimes utter. When tears are in our eyes, our prayer comes from the heart.

Hannah is definitely broken. The description of God as the LORD of hosts /The Lord Almighty

The hosts refer to all the armies of heaven. The Lord Almighty has all the hosts of heaven ready to do His work. She is appealing to His power and authority, because she knows there is nothing she can do.

Notice the elements of her prayer

1)      It was Specific: v.11: For a son

2)      It was Skillful: v. 11: If you, I will: She would follow God’s lead and act accordingly.

As part of her prayer, she is making a vow that if she’s given a son, he will be dedicated to the Lord for his entire life. Her son would become a Levitical priest, serving in the temple and a Nazirite.

A Nazirite was bound by a vow to be set apart to the Lord’s service and had to abstain from the fruit of the vine, was forbidden to cut his hair, and was not allowed to get near any dead body. Samson was another Old Testament character who had taken the Nazirite vow.

-Her vow only relates to circumstances that she can affect in her realistic reach. We should not vow something we can’t control.

Parents often dedicate children today unto the Lord.  This naturally does not save them, but if a promised vow between parents and the congregation before God. When we dedicate the children to God, we’re asking for God to build a “hedge” around them to keep them safe and prepare their hearts to accept Christ. Actually, we are also dedicating the parents to raise the children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

Hannah now realizes a very important truth: children are not just for parents; they’re for the Lord. Nothing we have really belongs to us anyway. That includes our children. They’re on loan to us. It’s our job to parent, to shepherd, and to train them for the Lord’s work.

Her prayer was 1) Specific: 2) It was Skillful: and notice verse 12:

1 Samuel 1:12   [12]As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. (ESV)

3) It was Sustained:

-She “continued praying”.This wasn’t just a quick prayer. This was a repeated request, bathed in tears. Notice also that she prayed this prayer in her heart, not audibly like most Hebrews prayed. She prayed secretly, not wanting to draw any attention to herself. We don’t have to always pray out loud, but simply pray from our heart because our thoughts are as words to God. Her quiet prayer had an unfortunate consequence when Eli, the priest, accused her of being drunk. That says a lot about the culture at that time : there were probably drunken people around the temple and Eli thought she was one of them.

Her prayer was 1) Specific: 2) It was Skillful: 3) Sustained and notice v. 13:

1 Samuel 1:13   Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. (ESV)

4) It was Sincere: She prayer in her heart

5) It was Silent: her voice was not heard.

1 Samuel 1:15  [15]But Hannah answered, "No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. (ESV)

6) It was spirited: pouring out my soul.

When she had the opportunity to explain herself, Eli answered in verse 17:

1 Samuel 1:17   [17]Then Eli answered, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him." (ESV)

-This benediction was a huge blessing to Hannah. As high priest, gave his “amen” to her request.

-This is the only instance in Scripture of a priest blessing an individual. (Robert Gordon 1 & 2 Samuel Commentary: Paternoster Press, p.75.)

Her whole countenance changed in verse 18 when we read that :

1 Samuel 1:18   [18]And she said, "Let your servant find favor in your eyes." Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. (ESV)

- After spending time in prayer, her face was no longer sad. She had left her concerns with the Lord and now she’s experiencing the “peace that passes all understanding”.

Never underestimate the power of a praying woman Susannah Wesley spent one hour each day praying for her 17 children. In addition, she took each child aside for a full hour each week to discuss spiritual matters. It’s no wonder that two of her sons, Charles and John, were used mightily in both England and America.

Quotation: Listen to the words of John Stiles:

“I have worshiped in churches and chapels. I have prayed in the busy street.

I have sought my God and have found him in the waves of His ocean beat.

I have knelt in the silent forest in the shade of some ancient tree

But the dearest of all my altars was at my mother’s knee.

God, make me the man of her vision and purge me of selfishness.

God, keep me true to her standards and help me to live to bless.

God, hallow the holy impress of the days that used to be

And keep me a pilgrim forever to the shrine at my mother’s knee.”

A woman of faith 1) exhibits real problems and 2) expresses vibrant prayers. That leads to a third defining trait:

3) Women of faith experience God’s provision (1:19-20).

Verse 19& 20 Tell us:

1 Samuel 1:19-20   [19]They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. [20]And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, "I have asked for him from the LORD." (ESV)

This was their practice, not something they did just once in awhile. Then they went back home. A short time later, Hannah conceived and give birth to a son, naming him Samuel. His name sounds like the Hebrew for “heard of God”. Every time she said his name she was reminded of his origin and destiny.

In terms of Hanna’s specific prayer I want to be careful here. Just because Hannah’s prayers for a son were answered, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be given a child because you prayed for one. But you will receive God’s provision, one way or another.

We are encouraged to pout out our heart to God:

Psalm 55:22  [22]Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you;he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

I read this week that one out of six women who want to have a baby cannot conceive. God answered Hannah’s prayer but not just so she could have a baby. God intended to bring about a special prophet He would work through. He allowed a time of barrenness in Hannah’s life to bring a greater blessing than she could ever imagine

It was the Hebrew tradition that children were not weaned until they were three or four years old (2 Maccabees 7:27) that’s why it says:

1 Samuel 1:21-22   [21]The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. [22]But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the LORD and dwell there forever." (ESV)

-I am compelled to mention the work that Sunday school and nursery women do in caring for children during worship.

-Times that I chose to drove me crazy in missing corporate worship, and we owe a trememdous debt of gratitude for those who sacrifice in doing so.

-I am glad that Sue is taking over for Donna in the Preschool-SK class for the summer. Thank you Donna for your hard work! We owe those who do such work as much relief and help as possible.

A woman of faith 1) exhibits real problems and 2) expresses vibrant prayers. 3) experiences God’s provision (1:19-20).

4) Women of faith excel at keeping their promises (1 Samuel 1:21-28).

After Samuel was born, Elkanah went once again to Shiloh in order to worship. Hannah decided to not go until Samuel was weaned, which would have been at around three-years-old. She dedicated herself to her child, nursing and nurturing him, knowing that when he is able to eat on his own.

Many people make promises to God, only to forget them once time passes. Not so with Hannah. She fully intended to keep her promise because she knew that Samuel did not really belong to her anyway.

Hannah not only dedicated herself to her child, she dedicated her child to the Lord. She then brings Samuel to the house of the Lord and says in verse 28:

1 Samuel 1:28   [28]Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD."   And he worshiped the LORD there. (ESV)

She repeated this twice as if to cement her commitment, knowing that she will never revoke it.

Verse 28 ends with a glimpse into young Samuel’s heart: “And he worshiped the LORD there”. Even at three-years-old, he was able to worship. How do you think he learned how to do this?

Hannah no doubt took the exhortation of Deuteronomy 6:6-7 seriously:

Deuteronomy 6:6-7   [6]And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. [7]You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (ESV)

While she gave Samuel to her Savior, she never forsook on her responsibility. Look at 2:19:

1 Samuel 2:19   [19]And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. (ESV)

It’s one thing to say that our children are dedicated to the Lord; it’s another thing altogether to give them to the Lord

Illustration: I recently came across a true story that happened during the Holocaust. Solomon Rosenberg, his wife and their two sons were arrested and placed in a concentration camp. The rules were simple. As long as they did their work, they were permitted to live. When they became too weak to work, they would be exterminated.

Rosenberg watched as his own father and mother were marched off to their deaths and he knew that his youngest son David would be next because he had always been a frail child. Every evening Rosenberg came back into the barracks after his hours of hard labor and searched for the faces of his family. When he found them they would huddle together, embrace one another and thank God for another day of life.

One day he came back and didn’t see those familiar faces. He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner sobbing and praying. “Josh, tell me it’s not true.” Joshua turned to his dad and said, “It’s true. Today David was not strong enough to do his work and so they took him away.” Mr. Rosenberg then asked, “But where is your mother?” Joshua could barely speak and finally uttered, “When they came for David, he was afraid and cried and so mom took his hand and went with him.”

That’s the kind of love that Hannah had for Samuel. She was willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of her son. She loved him so much that she was willing to forgo a mother’s greatest joy of bring up her son and having him around her. She was committed to do whatever it took for him to reach his godly potential.

Women of faith 1) exhibit real problems and 2) express vibrant prayers. 3) They experience God’s provision and 4) excel at keeping their promises. There’s one more defining trait:

5) Women of faith explode with praise (1 Samuel 2:1-11). We don’t have time this morning to plumb the depths of Hannah’s beautiful psalm of praise, but I do want to point out that there is no element of sadness here at all. She has just dropped off Samuel at the temple and now she breaks out into praise. She was thrilled to be able to parent a prophet!

Listen to verses 1-2:

1 Samuel 2:1-2 And Hannah prayed and said,  "My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.  [2]"There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

-She acknowledges God’s holiness and strength.

Notice that she doesn’t brag about how handsome Samuel is, or how smart he is, or how neat it is that he can say prayers at his young age. She overlooks the gift and gives praise to the Giver. There is no one else who is holy like the Lord and no one else who will be her Rock through the storms of life.

In verse 3

1 Samuel 2:3  [3]Talk no more so very proudly,    let not arrogance come from your mouth;  for the LORD is a God of knowledge,    and by him actions are weighed.

She focuses on God’s wisdom and knowledge (omniscience), recognizing that He’s the one who weighs the actions of men and women. He is just.. We shouldn’t brag about we have or what we do, because God knows our hearts. In verse 6:

1 Samuel 2:6  [6]The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

She acknowledges God’s ability to bring death and to make alive. In verse 7,:

1 Samuel 2:7  [7]The LORD makes poor and makes rich;    he brings low and he exalts.

 God is the one who sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and exalts.

Hannah is an example of a woman of faith. She endures years of silent suffering because of her barrenness and the cruel harassment at the hand of her rival, Penninah. She goes to the place of worship, knowing how painful it is. She faithfully worships, pouring out her tears and petitions. And when God answers her prayers, she not only keeps her promise, she explodes with praise.

What happened to Hannah?

 1 Samuel 2:20-21   [20]Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "May the LORD give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the LORD." So then they would return to their home.   [21]Indeed the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the young man Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD. (ESV)

Hannah had seven children. According to the verse I just read, Hannah had five children, plus Samuel, making six.

But listen to the prayer that she makes in the great psalm that reflects her prayer:

1 Samuel 2:5  [5]Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.

Apparently, one more child was born after this chapter was written. Hannah had seven children. What happened to the other wife that was persecuting and mocking Hannah? She stopped having children. God blessed Hannah and judged Peninnah, the other wife.

And finally, v. 10 reads:

1 Samuel 2:10  [10]The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed."

-Hannah, the tormented initially barren women was to be used by God to bring about his anointed: First in Samuel, in the line of anointed Kings from David to the messiah: Christ (gk christos/ “anointed”)

What can we conclude and learn from how God dealt with Hannah?
Women, you are of great worth in God’s sight whether or not you have a child. Lift up your head and realize that God loves you for who you are, not for what you do. He understands your sorrow and your pain and He’ll meet you right where you are.

Mothers, make it your mission to give your children to the Lord for a lifetime of dedicated service. There’s no greater purpose, and no higher honor, than to have your children give their lives in surrendered service to the Lord of Hosts.

If you were to continue reading through the book of 1 Samuel, you’d discover that Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas, were very evil and did some perversely detestable things. It’s very interesting that their mother is never mentioned anywhere. We don’t know if she died or if she was just not engaged as a parent. Samuel, on the other hand, was greatly impacted by his mother, and went on to become one of the most significant individuals in God’s redemptive history.

1 Samuel 2:18   [18] Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. (ESV)

1 Samuel 2:26   [26] Now the young man Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man. (ESV)

Moms, you matter greatly to your kids and to the very future of our nation!

One of the lessons from the life of Hannah is that each of us needs to be growing in our own relationship with God. If you want your kids to learn about God, and to love Him with all they’ve got, it’s first got to be real in your life.

If you want your kids brought up in a Christian home, make sure that Christ is at home in your heart. If He is, then spend the rest of your life giving your children back to the Lord: they belong to Him anyway.


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